Oh, Biebs, didn't we just go over this? A few months after sporting cornrows in Anguilla (which Bieber himself admitted was misguided), the pop star is at it again. His culturally appropriative hairstyle of choice this time? Dreadlocks. And many fans are unsurprisingly displeased.
It's especially problematic given that Bieber's locs (and Miley Cyrus', while we're on the subject) are being touted as hip and trendy, while stars like Zendaya have faced ignorant remarks and criticism for wearing the exact same style. (Who can forget Giuliana Rancic's remark that Zendaya's locs "must smell of patchouli oil or weed?") In the words of Amandla Stenberg, “Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalisations or stereotypes where it originated, but is deemed as high-fashion, cool, or funny when the privileged take it for themselves.”
Dreadlocks in particular carry much weight and significance to people of colour. (More on that here.) Bieber was quick to defend Kylie Jenner's cornrows back in July, so it doesn't come as that much of a surprise that he'd sport these. Still, Bieber — or at least the people behind the Bieber machine — should have known better before adopting a style without offering any form of context or credit. "Fashion and hair integrate, and we are all inspired by each other’s art forms. But when you are inspired, it should be noted,” Diane Bailey of SheaMoisture has told us. What do you think of Bieber's new look? Let us know in the comments below.